Showing all posts for #General
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Nebraska’s Federal Court Says We’re Not a Legit Religion

Published April 15th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Nebraska’s US District Court says Pastafarianism is not a legitimate religion.

More specifically, the court denied a prisoner’s request to practice his religion (FSM), because it is a “satirical argument”, not a legitimate religion.

Surprising to me, the prison system does recognize a wide variety of religions (20, I read), including Mormonism and Scientology — so I’m suspicious of any standard they’ve come up with to decide that our religion is not legit.

The satire argument is flimsy. Lots of people do view FSM as satire, but I’m not sure how that disqualifies it as a real religion. True Believers make up a small proportion of mainstream religions as well — the difference is that Pastafarians are more honest when they don’t hold a literal view of their religion.

And the prisoner is, I think, a True Believer of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I get the impression he’s a troubled guy, so I am nervous about his interest in our Church, but I don’t for a second doubt his sincerity. I don’t believe he’s fighting the prison system out of boredom or as some sort of stunt.

The story has been all over the news, but this article in The Oregonian is my favorite, because they include this excerpt:

“What drives the FSM’s devout followers, aka Pastafarians? Some say it’s the assuring touch from the FSM’s Noodly Appendage. There are those who love the worship service, which is conducted in Pirate-Speak and attended by congregants in dashing buccaneer garb. Still others are drawn to the Church’s flimsy moral standards, religious holidays every Friday, and the fact that Pastafarian Heaven is way cooler. Does your Heavenhave a Stripper Factory and a Beer Volcano?”

The full court decision can be read here.

How should we respond?

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The Templin Pastafarians are Fighting the State of Brandenburg

Published April 8th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Our friend Brother Spaghettus is fighting for the right to keep Pastafarian signs up.

In Brandenburg, Germany, churches are allowed to post signs advertising their gatherings. But after the Templin Church of FSM put up signs advertising Noodle Mass, the local government said the signs must come down, because Pastafarians clubs are not a legitimate religious community.

Now Brother Spaghettus and his crew are taking the fight to court.

I think it’s great, and expect a successful outcome. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see the arguments for allowing Protestant and Catholic churches to advertise their meetings but not the Church of FSM. It will be hard for the bureaucrats to devise a test of religious legitimacy that keeps us out. We’ll see!

Huge thanks again to our friend Brother Spaghettus for all of his excellent work. Such a great ambassador for all of us Pastafarians — and he really looks the part, too.

You can read more about the case here: www.thelocal.de

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FSM Pirate Adventure Game: Quest For Enlightenment

Published April 1st, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Our friend Jakob from the Danish FSM Church has created a Pirate-Adventure game: Quest For Enlightenment (and Pasta).

In the game,you survive on Rum, look for FSM relics and pieces of parchment with the “8 I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”.

The holiest of events is, of course, if you’re lucky enough to be touched by His Flying Noodliness who floats above the world in a Godly fashion ;-)

I played it and it’s great (and challenging). Check it out here: www.fsmgame.com

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Australian Driver’s License

Published February 16th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

Good news — Sue from Melbourne was allowed a Colander in her Driver’s License photo, after a fight. Well done.

As always, we take this as implicit government acknowledgement of our legitimacy.

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Wisconsin DMV says Colanders are ok

Published February 11th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Good news: the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says Pastafarians are allowed to wear Colanders in their license photos (despite some having been denied in their earlier attempts).

Attorney Derek Allen deserves the credit — he wrote an impressive letter laying out in detail why DMV rules allow for religious headwear.

Here is Mr. Allen’s letter to the Wisconsin DMV, and their response — they are worth a read.

Thanks Mr. Allen, you are doing great work.

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Cashed Wednesday

Published February 11th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Hello Bobby,
My name is Paul. I’m a practicing minister and proud of it. Recently a few of my disciples and I received a revelation for a new holiday, and we just finished celebrating it successfully. The holiday happens to coincide with the traditional catholic holiday of Ash Wednesday, however the FSM revealed to me through my friend Harprett the true name of the day: Cashed Wednesday. My followers and I proceeded to indeed Cash a few packs of bud, being “of age in an area of the world where it is legal to do so.” I found it prudent to inform you of this revelation.
May you be Touched,
Paul Redling
Minister

Maybe he’s on to something?

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The Netherlands recognizes Pastafarianism as an official religion

Published February 1st, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Great news, The Netherlands has recognized Pastafarianism as an official religion. There are efforts for recognition in a bunch of places — I find it interesting (and telling) the reactions from the various governments. Clearly The Netherlands is a great place.

The Metro has a nice article about the successful Netherlands effort here.

Nice work guys.

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Georgia Drivers License Discrimination

Published January 4th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Christopher Avino wearing a colander in his temporary license photo

More news about Pastafarians wearing colanders in their drivers license photos, this time in Georgia.

The Dept. of Driver Services refused to issue a permanent license to Christopher Avino (after issuing a temporary with colander headwear) and asked him to come back and re-take the photo. More surprising is that their legal department wrote a letter laying out their reasoning, which includes this line, “Pastafarian is not actually a religion. Rather it is a philosophy that mocks religion”.

Here’s the whole letter:

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Obviously most of us disagree with their view that Pastafarianism exists only to mock religion (I could not disagree more), but I find it particularly surprising to read such a statement in a letter written by the DDS General Counsel. I did not realize the legal departments of small government offices were empowered to declare what is and what is not a legitimate religion.

And it shouldn’t matter, but I wonder: would this General Counsel happen to be Christian, and did that have anything to do with the DDS decision to deny the permanent license?

Christopher wrote a smart and entertaining letter in response to the DDS. The whole thing can be read here, but in case you do not read it, let me paste here my favorite part:

“You mayfind our beliefs to be strange, but as strange as you may feel they are, they are still our beliefs. Some may find it strange that Christians believe that Jonah spent “3 days in a whale’s belly” according to some texts. Some may find it strange that Muslims believe that Muhammad was carried to the seven heavens on the back of a winged horse. Some may find it strange that Scientologists believe that Xenu, the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy brought billions of people to earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Maybe you, the reader of this letter, do not personally believe that Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse, but do you question the validity of Islam as a religion? “

As frustrating as I find these bureaucratic hurdles, I think overall they end up helping the Cause, because they bring so much attention to the issues. There are already volunteers willing to help take up the legal fight, and I’ve read many messages of support, many from people who are not Pastafarians but who support us.

Huge thanks to Christopher for spending the time and energy to get into these issues.

RawStory has a good overview of all that’s happened here.

UPDATE —

Christopher moved to Nevada, and has applied for and received his Nevada driver license, wearing a Colander:

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I could not be more pleased — I take this as implicit approval by the Nevada licensing authority, clearly they support Pastafarianism headwear. Thanks!

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New Zealand government approves Pastafarian marriage ceremonies

Published December 15th, 2015 by Bobby Henderson

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Good news — New Zealand has approved the Church of FSM to perform marriage ceremonies.

The application was approved under a sub-section of the Marriages Act, satisfying the registrar-general that the principal object of the organisation was to uphold or promote religious beliefs, philosophical or humanitarian convictions.

Posted by Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – New Zealand.

Montgomery said the purposes set out by the church were educating and training people, particularly atheists and superstitious people, about Flying Spaghetti principles and practices.

Those principles covered human rights, cultural and spiritual diversity, ethics, relieving poverty and advancing education.

“In considering the matter I have referred to the Objects of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, reviewed material available online about this organisation and considered other organisations already able to nominate marriage celebrants.

“A review of media and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s international website show a consistent presentation of their philosophies. While some claim this is a ‘parody organisation’, members have rebutted this on a number of occasions.”

You can read more about it here at stuff.co.nz.

I lived in New Zealand for a year in college and it does not surprise me that the NZ government has publicly acknowledged our legitimacy, both because they are a progressive open-minded people, and also because of the amount of drinking that goes on over there.

Unrelated, they have birds that eat cars:

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The war on Holiday

Published December 14th, 2015 by Bobby Henderson

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This has become my favorite Holiday[1] tradition: a government institution hosts a Christian-themed display, then non-Christian groups demand a display as well, then the Christians who thought a government building was an appropriate place for a religious display get worked up by the “war on Christmas”.

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The one in the news this year is a DMV in Florida with a baby Jesus display. Here’s an article in RawStory talking about it.

And a great quote by a Christian activist:

“My hope is that the Christ in Christmas is louder than a wood display and some figurines,” Pam Olsen, president of the Florida Prayer Network, explained to the Miami Herald.

“I have been pondering this for a while,” Olsen said. “The racial tensions and mass murders, the shootings at the Planned Parenthood and in California – something is very wrong in our country. We need to step back and say we need to stop. Let the sound of the Christ Child bring hope, joy and peace instead of dissension.”

I will admit that I have a small (very small) amount of sympathy for the Christians who get upset that they can’t just put a baby Jesus in the DMV and keep the “wrong” groups out. I recognize that they are more comfortable in a world where everyone shares their religious views (or keeps quiet about their own). I think this is less about promoting Christianity and more like a nostalgic yearning for simpler times. And I’ve always liked Christmas displays – even if they’re a little Jesusy – I’ve never found them too bothersome.

That said, once these Christian vs non-Christian display stories hit the news, I think it does become a highly charged issue, and the Christian warriors come out speaking loudly about the war on Christmas. This I find ridiculous, and I am very thankful that we have so many Pastafarians who stand up for our rights. I can not wait to see the FSM Holiday display this year.

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[1] A note on Holiday: years ago we noticed there was a shift in the way people expressed winter greetings — fewer “Merry Christmas’s” and more “happy holidays”. We concluded that these people were most likely Pastafarians (albeit many of them in secret) wishing people a happy Holiday – referring to our winter celebration also known as ChriFSMas.

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